Yesterday on ESPN during their show “Around The Horn” ESPN analyst Kevin Blackistone unleashed a tirade on the military, Pat Tillman and the US National Anthem that can only be described as disgusting. Once again, sports and political statements collide. Kevin’s statements were not about just distain for Northwestern University’s uniform that was meant to honor Wounded Warriors he was sharing with the audience his own views of the United States as well. The 1st amendment gives us all the right to share our opinions – and to that end I agree with, however, when a major sports network allows an analyst the pulpit to give this type of statement (on the lead in to Veteran’s Day no less) I find that my stomach turns a little bit and I want to know how in the hell someone can sit there and speak such vile about the men and women who shed their blood so that Mr. Blackistone could have the ability to collect a check to share his views. Perhaps he wouldn’t be so big and bold if he was sitting across from Pat Tillman’s widow? Or maybe Mr. Blackistone should say his thoughts to a young man with no legs after an IED has taken them in Iraq? Would his brass comments be so bold then? Perhaps ESPN might want to re-think their “Salute to Veterans” if their salute appears to be given with a middle finger like the one Mr. Blackistone gave to all Americans and Veterans yesterday.
Additionally, when viewers tried to comment on Mr. Blackistone’s comments on ESPN’s Facebook page, ESPN deleted comments and links to the story that appears on Breitbart. In fact, I was one of those who posted the link and my comment was deleted twice – without any explanation or even a comment back from ESPN. Clearly, ESPN doesn’t get social media. I’ve also tweeted ESPN three times and no response. Social media doesn’t appear to have much of an impact on ESPN unless you are writing “GO DUCKS!” or maybe agree with the comments of Mr. Blackistone that we should stop respecting the flag, the military. ESPN has shown time and time again that their agenda isn’t sports. With such scandals in the past with commentators, with lack of all sports – such as “if you blink you’ll miss it coverage of the NHL” it’s a cultural change of sports and how we the viewers must just follow their lead. I’m not buying it. I’m selling it. Thanks, ESPN. I know a leader when I see it and it’s not ESPN.
Here are the screenshots below of them deleting the post (they deleted it within seconds):